Organ transplant coordination center calls for honoring donors, donations

By Le Nga   January 19, 2024 | 04:54 pm PT
Organ transplant coordination center calls for honoring donors, donations
Doctors pay tribute to an organ donor. Photo courtesy of the 108 Military Hospital
The National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation is calling for streets across the country to be named after organ donors to honor their act.

Nguyen Hoang Phuc, deputy director of the center, Thursday also called for celebrating a Day of Organ Donation to acclaim and foster organ donation to encourage the act.

There is high demand for organ transplantation in Vietnam, but the number of organ donors (deceased and brain-dead people) account for less than 0.1%.

Around 10 brain-dead people have their organs donated every year, or 0.1 person for every one million, which is among the lowest rates in the world.

In South Korea, 11 brain-dead people donate their organs every year, the highest number in Asia.

Spain has the highest number in the world: 50.

Phuc said several countries celebrate a national day for organ donation and organize many activities to cherish donors and the act of donation.

"The Center proposes July 1 to be made the Day for Organ Donation. It was the day when the Law on Donation, Removal and Transplantation of Human Tissues and Organs and Donation and Recovery of Cadavers took effect (in 2007)."

Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, president of the Vietnam Organ and Tissue Donation Association, said Vietnam has the lowest rate of organ donors in the world despite having technologies on par with the rest of the world for transplantation.

It also has the lowest rate of brain-dead organ donors, she added.

Experts said organ donation is affected by the belief that a dead person should be "whole."

As a result, 95% of organ transplantation is done thanks to live donors, a stark contrast with many other countries.

Duong Duc Hung, director of Viet Duc Hospital, said the law on organ transplantation has been around since 2006, but requires amendments.

For instance, the law requires people to sign off on authorization documents for their organs to be removed after death or brain death, he said.

"However, in reality, many people had agreed to donate their organs after death, but their family members did not allow it, doctors could not remove their organs."

As of October last year around 8,000 organ transplants had been done in Vietnam, but only around 500 involved using organs taken from dead people.

There are 25 centers for organ transplantation, but 25% of the cases have been done at Viet Duc.

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